A Physician completely refutes Plandemic

From Facebook by Kat Montgomery

**KAT EDITED TO ADD: I wrote this post to help my friends sort through misinformation and did not expect it to go viral. Several commenters have asked me to cite sources, and I agree that this is important to do. I still have a day job, but I have edited to include primary sources for all points when possible.

**SECOND EDIT: People seem to not understand that PubMed (ncbi) is the international database for cataloguing medical research studies and instead think it only contains government-funded information or research. This is not the case. It is basically the Google of peer-reviewed research studies.**

*The following statements represent my personal informed views and not those of any institution*

First, background: I’m a physician (specifically a board-certified pathologist, which includes microbiology and laboratory medicine) with a master’s degree in epidemiology.

In the last day or two, several friends have shared or posted about a video “documentary” called “Plandemic”. The film depicts now-discredited former researcher Judy Mikovits who shares a plausible-sounding narrative about the current pandemic. The problem here is that nearly all of her scientific statements are demonstrably false. If you have more to add to this list, or credible data to the contrary, please start a discussion. I suspect there are many more false claims in this video, but these are just the ones that stuck out to me as a physician with epidemiology training.

– She states “There is no vaccine for any RNA virus that works.” Incorrect: Polio, hepatitis A, measles, to name a few. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4763971/)

– Her retracted paper was actually not about vaccines at all, even though she insinuates that it was. (Here is the article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19815723)

– She states that Ebola could not infect humans until it was engineered to do so in her laboratory. This is false. (Here is an article describing an outbreak of Ebola in 1976, long before Dr. Mikovits was conducting research: https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/214/suppl_3/S93/2388104 )

– Likewise, many other zoonotic viruses have been shown to gain mutations that allow them to infect humans. This would not be some kind of new, crazy idea. We actually predicted it years ago: we just didn’t know exactly which virus or when it would occur. (Here is an article from 2015 discussing the likely emergence of future coronavirus pandemics: https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12985-015-0422-1 )

– She states that the US was working with Wuhan to study coronaviruses years ago, like it’s a “gotcha” moment: yes, of course we were doing this – Wuhan is a coronavirus hotspot and it makes sense to study this family of viruses where it naturally occurs. (Same article as above: https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12985-015-0422-1 )

– She states that COPD lungs are identical to COVID-19 lungs. As a pathologist, this is ludicrous – any practicing physician would be able to tell COPD from COVID-19, both clinically and histologically. (One article discussing an overview of tools for diagnosing COVID19 https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.0c02624, one about CT specifically https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/22221751.2020.1750307, and one about histology specifically https://academic.oup.com/ajcp/article/153/6/725/5818922)

– The statement taken out of context from the CDC death certificate recommendation reads in full “In cases where a definitive diagnosis of COVID-19 cannot be made, but is suspected or likely (the circumstances are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty), it is acceptable to report COVID-19 on a death certificate as “probable” or “presumed”. In these instances, certifiers should use their best judgment in determining if a COVID-19 diagnosis was likely. Testing for COVID-19 should be conducted whenever possible.”. My physician colleagues are not being pressured to put COVID-19 on death certificates when it should not be there. (Here is the actual document with instructions for
filling out death certificates from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvss/vsrg/vsrg03-508.pdf )

– The idea that physicians are incorrectly diagnosing COVID-19 due to financial incentive is also ridiculous. Medicare sometimes bundles payments for some conditions (i.e. if you have a heart attack, medicare may pay XX for your treatment) – it’s possible the hospital could get paid $13,000 for your COVID-19 admission, but do you know what that’s based on? The fact that the average cost of a hospital admission for a respiratory condition is $13,297. (I can’t post a scientific study here, since this isn’t a scientific fact, but this article describes the procedure in detail: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/04/24/fact-check-medicare-hospitals-paid-more-covid-19-patients-coronavirus/3000638001/ )

– She states that hydroxychloroquine has been “extensively studied in this family of viruses” – in fact, it has not been studied well in coronaviruses. It HAS been studied in malaria, which is not a virus. (Here is the one study that was performed that people like to cite, and it is an in vitro study (not in humans), of SARS (not COVID-19), and chloroquine (not hydroxychloroquine): https://virologyj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-422X-2-69 ). And yes, it is considered an essential medicine for the treatment of malaria. Not for coronaviruses.

– Furthermore, the data on hydroxychloroquine are much weaker than they originally appeared: the small study that was highly publicized was not a randomized controlled trial, and the only patients who died were those who received hydroxychloroquine (and these were EXCLUDED FROM ANALYSIS!). This is terrible science. Even so, we want to investigate all possible treatments, so controlled trials are being conducted on hydroxychloroquine right now. (One study published on May 7 shows no benefit to using hydroxychloroquine https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa2012410?listPDF=true )

– She insinuates that there is a hydroxychloroquine shortage as a result of reduced production. In fact, the shortage has resulted from an increase in demand: people who take this medication regularly are writing extended prescriptions and because physicians are using it for COVID19 patients because they have nothing else to try. (https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2764607?fbclid=IwAR2oKdwc0aZVFvkKUvw82r6XpnKeq0sFc1iIxqO4JdKscy-81mC6hkRQ6fs).

– “All flu vaccines contain coronaviruses”. Nope, absolutely false. (In fact, it’s so false based on the way vaccines are made that there are no studies specifically stating this claim. It would be like trying to conduct a study to examine whether humans can live with zero oxygen. Nope, we can’t. No study needed.)

– The ideas that sheltering in place somehow harms your immune system or that you may reactivate a virus in yourself by wearing a mask have been thoroughly debunked in other posts and I won’t get into the details here. Both national societies of emergency medicine have condemned the statements of these doctors, one of whom is not board-certified. (Please refer to Dr. Kasten’s post and others about these)

– Lastly, private companies removing false information from their platforms does not represent repression or promotion of propaganda. It’s helping to promote the spread of sound scientific information. If you think lies should be permitted to circulate freely alongside the truth with the intention of reaching people who won’t be able to tell the difference, you are part of the problem.

The Great Pandemic of 2120

Between 1918 and 1920, the world was assaulted by an Influenza strain (H1N1) which infected an estimated 500 million people (almost a third of the worlds population). It’s reckoned there were probably in excess of 25 million deaths due to it. That’s a guesstimated 0.05% mortality rate. The parallels continue in the virus causing a cytokine storm (though Covid-19 is assaulting more than one type of T-cell so the storm is worse). But it’s thought that worldwide conditions of malnourishment, overcrowding of medical facilities and general poor hygiene resulted in bacterial superinfection (where the weakened immune system enabled a secondary infection from a bacteria to thrive in the victim). In comparison a second outbreak (know as Swine Flu in 2009) killed probably 250,000 people.

SARS-CoV-1 killed 8000 people in the early 2000s (with a 9.5% chance of death on a wider infection). This latest version SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, has killed 20 times as many. In January 2020, five different genomes of SARS-CoV-2 had been sequenced but it’s possible there’s more than 1000 different genomes at the time of this writing.

The thing is. We are lucky.

This new virus takes an average of 11 days to present symptoms after infection. The mortality rate is relatively low. Probably less than 2%.

Somewhere out there is a zoonotic virus which has a 14-30 day infectious period (where you’re running around spreading the infection without knowing you have it, and then it has a 50% mortality rate. (The Nipha virus from Malaysia had a 14 day onset with a 50-75% death rate. Ebola can take up to three weeks to show symptoms and has a 50-90% mortality rate.

We are lucky.

But we have to learn from this. This current pandemic is a warning shot. It’s telling us that our current liberties (travel everywhere) is potentially not sustainable. We worried about nuclear annihilation or pollution or a meteor killing us all, but this is something that we knew could happen. I mean, it’s essentially the plot device of “War of the Worlds” and it’s been well documented in Hollywood movies.

We have to prepare.

What can we expect in the new normality?

I love travel, but travel will be harder. And more expensive. Queues will be long and you can be expected to be turned away from a flight if you present with illness.

I had tickets to a gig in June. 50,000 people in a crowded stadium. They’ve just emailed to say the gig is postponed to June 2021. Do I really want to be in a crowded stadium with the great unwashed?

I think the last two months have certainly indicated that some jobs can be done remotely. And while many have mixed reactions to videoconferencing, I’m finding focus to be increased without daily distractions.

I’m thinking not just about what will go back to normal, but the things that I want to go back to normal and the things that I want to change.

Because the next great pandemic might not take 100 years to appear.

Time for a new CEO in Redmond

From Electronista:

Developing a Windows-based alternative to the iPad is a “job one urgency” at Microsoft, company chief Steve Ballmer said today during the annual Financial Analysts Meeting.

“Apple has done an interesting job,” he said. “They’ve sold more than I’d like them to sell. We think about that. So it’s our job to say: we have got to make things happen. Just like we made things happen with netbooks, we have to do that with slates. […] Not one size fits all. Been to too many meetings with journalists struggling to set up iPads for notes.”

Excuse me? What the hell did you do for netbooks? Netbooks were all Linux and your response to that was cutting your OS to bits and just reacting to it. And now Netbook sales are tanking. Taking the credit for Netbooks shows a dangerous level of delusion about your reactions to market churn.

Time for a new CEO.

Books

Today I retrieved four massive bags and two boxes of books from my parents house and unpacked them onto shelves. They’ve been living in those bags and boxes for as long as I can remember. Most of them since my first house.

The new bookshelves in my office.

And still plenty of space on the shelves. Still got a good amount to come though – but I can always build more bookcases.

#oldme

Yesterday, Ian Sayers of Giant Associates posted a picture of himself aged 13. After the entire Internet had stopped laughing, he posted this tweet:

Giant Associates: Northern Ireland Digital Media Training
Giant Associates: Northern Ireland Digital Media Training

and so, without further ado, I present some horrific photos from my misbegotten youth.

First Day at Big School, 1983
First Day at Big School, 1983

On the plane to Bulgaria for Skiiing, Christmas 1983
On the plane to Bulgaria for Skiiing, Christmas 1983

At Six Flags in Georgia in 1986 (aged 14)
At Six Flags in Georgia in 1986 (aged 14)

So, don’t just sit there, scan an old photo and get it up on the web. Post in the comments with the address or tweet at me!

Apple needs to man-up if they’re going after Games

While we wait with bated breath for the release of Game Center which will undoubtedly hurt early AppStore pioneers in social gaming (like OpenFeint or Plus+), I believe that Apple needs to grow up a little more and provide a little more of a sense of ‘game‘ rather than ‘app‘.

This morning I spent a little time trying to track down a clone of Gauntlet on the AppStore that might run on iPad or multiplayer across multiple iPhones. The only one which seemed to come close was “The Relic” by Chillingo which is coming up on a year late. There are other games out there like Dark Raider, Catacombs or Shadow Edge but I can’t tell which of these games are going to be truly multiplayer – at least not in the way I want.

I think Apple need to look at how they present information for games. This, for instance, is simply not enough:

Bad juju

and this is also pitiful:

Mirror's Edge

So we see the icon, the name, price, size, a vague-ish rating for the game content (which, if you remember the dawn of the AppStore, didn’t exist) and basic requirements for the hardware.

Compare this to Nintendo:

Nintendo
Nintendo2

and Sony do even better:
Sony

You can see if this is a multiplayer game on the device, multiplayer over the internet, the specifications, the rating, the size. And they do it in a consistent way across all their games. And the multiplayer icons are the first things I look for in games – considering how irritating it is to have a good game and it not be multiplayer (though some games like Super Mario Galaxy have such a stunted second player option, you have to wonder if it was worthwhile).

Come on Apple, sort it out.

Oklahoma State University and the iPad pilot

Oklahoma State University’s School of Media and Strategic Communication and Spears School of Business will provide approximately 125 students across five courses with Apple’s iPad. (Source – Macsimumnews.com)

Original Press Release:

OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY TO LAUNCH APPLE IPAD STUDENT PILOT INITIATIVE
Written by Oklahoma State University
Saturday, 19 June 2010 14:39
Oklahoma State University will pilot an Apple iPad initiative during the Fall 2010 semester with select courses in the School of Media and Strategic Communications and the Spears School of Business at both the Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, announced OSU President Burns Hargis.

“This pilot initiative will provide valuable insight into the research benefits of the Apple iPad in the classroom,” said Hargis. “The iPad has had an amazing impact since it was introduced last April and we are excited to be able to put this powerful and creative tool in the hands of students and faculty and see what happens.”

Bill Handy, visiting assistant professor in the School of Media and Strategic Communications, and Tracy Suter, associate professor of marketing in the Spears School of Business, will lead the initiative. Each class will integrate the iPad differently but will focus on specific measurable outcomes.

The iPad pilot will be launched this fall with approximately 125 students in five different courses.

“This limited pilot will be focused on fields of study where we believe we can best determine the higher education value of the iPad,” said Handy. “We will evaluate the academic enhancement to the courses, how the iPad and its specific apps and web-based tools can be integrated in this capacity, and perhaps most importantly, how the integration of these mobile tools can expand the tactical abilities of students as they enter the workforce.”

The iPad and other mobile tools are already integrated into daily business use. In both schools, the iPad will be used for academic purposes and to explore innovative uses and tactical uses specific to each school’s industry needs.

“In addition to mobility, the iPad will allow us to work in real-time,” said Suter. “For example, data collection and analysis in a research context can be a multi-day to multi-week process. By using the iPad, we can replace paper-and-pencil research with the immediate process of data collection, review and summary over a Web interface.

“I certainly have ideas of how I would like to use an iPad.” Suter said. “But collectively we will discover new uses a single individual might not have conceived independently. Putting the newest technology in the hands of students allows them to stretch the limits of how it can be used.”

Cost savings for students will also be evaluated. In one case, students using the iPad in a single course will save more than $100 on a single textbook, which can be downloaded in an ePub format.

OSU is leading the way in the integration of technology in the classroom. It is already using a variety of tools such as iTunesU and YouTube, along with other collaborative tools. OSU is also exploring the development of mobile applications to integrate current publications into an online and app platform, offering expense savings and enhanced distribution.

One of the conversations had at WWDC this year talked about the will to put together a similar pilot at the University of Ulster.

When I hold the Nokia phone, service drops off…

With the release of the iPhone 4, the web is abuzz with people talking about how it’s the phone which “doesn’t work” or the one with the “antenna problems”. At the moment I’ve seen about 8 iPhone 4s (though I do not own one yet) and none of the owners have described the problem as a problem. One, yesterday, stated that the new iPhone 4 antenna is sensitive enough to receive a 3G signal at his house where the iPhone 3GS never received that signal.

Apple reckons the issue is software related and I am inclined to agree – a misrepresentation of the signal strength would be misleading as would a software algorithm which would choose a very weak 3G signal over a strong 2G signal.

Anyway – this is immaterial though Nokia, in their wisdom, decided to poke fun at Apple in their official blog with a “How do you hold your Nokia?” posting.

Of course, feel free to ignore all of the above because realistically, you’re free to hold your Nokia device any way you like. And you won’t suffer any signal loss. Cool, huh?

Except that isn’t true.

Nokia don’t have the same excuses as Apple. They’ve been in the mobile business since the start. They hold buckets of patents on antenna design and spout endlessly about their innovation and expertise. But this video shows the truth:

Which is why Nokia needs to shut up and get some class. I could do a much better job at managing the Nokia product and developer strategy than anyone they evidently have working for them and they’re wasting their advantages.

They need to stop pre-announcing stuff which is years away. They need to settle on one strategy rather than stopping and starting. They just killed Maemo and orphaned the 770, the N800, the N810 and the N900 (described as developer devices for technology enthusiasts).

Here’s a hint, Nokia, developers buy your devices with their own money and when you orphan them it means they’re pissed at you.

They need to bring out some decent hardware and a single instance of a consumer-ready device with forward-looking software.

Here’s a hint, Nokia, stop pushing Symbian as a modern OS. Keep it for the low end. And stop talking about absolute mobile market share. No-one cares about the S40 low end. No-one.

They need to stop re-organising and worrying about administrivia and hiring figureheads and start making things that people can love again. With a company this size, you’ve got the resources to remake mobile in your image.

Here’s a hint, Nokia, settle the lawsuits amicably, get them off the table and start making great products. Stop poking fun when you’ve obviously got your own manufacturing issues. It’s making you look weak and stupid.